Last week, the House Armed Services Committee reinstated funding for the F-22, over the objections of the Pentagon and the White House, by eliminating funding for nuclear waste cleanup. (Rep. Barney Frank [D-MA] has introduced an amendment eliminating the money for the F-22.) Today, the Office of Management and Budget issued a Statement of Administrative Policy recommending a veto if the bill contains the F-22 funding:
F-22 Advance Procurement: The Administration strongly objects to the provisions in the bill authorizing $369 million in advanced procurement funds for F-22s in FY 2011. The collective judgment of the Service Chiefs and Secretaries of the military departments suggests that a final program of record of 187 F-22s is sufficient to meet operational requirements. If the final bill presented to the President contains this provision, the President’s senior advisors would recommend a veto.
This afternoon on MSNBC, VoteVets Chairman Jon Soltz debated Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), who proclaimed, “We absolutely need 381 of these planes, and not 187.” Soltz called the claim “ridiculous,” and argued that military funds should be spent on troops on the ground:
It’s about how we spend our money. The Congressman cares about the Lockheed Martin stock price, and I care about the men and women who fight on the ground. And this weapon system does nothing for us.